Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Moving to Wordpress

I discovered the joys of wordpress moving there to Ramblings Please update your links on the same.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hearsay

Humans have always gossiped. From time immemorial, we talk about things, that are really not important to us. This is the only way, human beings bond. However in today's context, this gossip turn into factual information, and if one probes leads to pure and fanatical hearsay.

For example, a few days ago, there were riots in Bangalore, due to Dr Rajkumar's death a lot of things said to each other during conversations was hearsay, like "Hey do you know that the riot crowds were brought in truckloads just to create riots","There is defnitely a hand of the opposition party to conduct these riots", "The police have stopped responding to the riot group in fear of their lives, bad policing".

All this got me thinking why hearsay prevails, here are a few reasons why I think, do add in more if you have any

a. Gossip is fun: Just because we can talk on any topic not being based on facts, we take for granted that whatever we say passes by without any factual backing to it.

b. Society of Trust:We are a socitey of blind trust, if an elderly person utters some words, then we accept it as though it must be true. None of us and sit back to think if they are correct. This is especially true in religious and superstitious matters.

c. Laziness:We are lazy to find the actual facts. We never out in efforts to test the waters.

d. Mass mania:Having a greater amount of group orientation than individuality, also to a certain extent attributes to accepting hearsay. This could be more to do so with peer pressure, that we belong to a group and the group thinks/acts in a certain way, so do I have to do it.

To a certain extent all the religious books are written on hearsay too, but I rather not discuss that here.

Hearsay is one of the most dangerous elements, trust in a person does not mean to say you have to believe everything he/she says, "The Waters MUST be tested".

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Barcamp history

Barcamp history was given by Chris and Tara, on how it started and where it is going. Interesting stuff, may Orielly rest in peace.Bangalore BarCamp

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pink Go Marketing-Riya.com(Tara)

How do you go marketing your concept of any idea, Tara from Riya dot com, gave in a wonderful idea of Pink GO marketing. An interesting way to look at community/amateurs, rather than just looking at the elite, when you are bootstrapping your company.BangaloreBarcamp

The Art of Scrum: Bangalore Barcamp

Bangalore barcamp started with a bang.Art of scrum was the first session, given by a Project manager in yahoo. An interesting session, can make a whole lot of changes in life...BarcampBangalore

Barcamp Bangalore Countdown Begins

Barcamp bangalore is just a few hours away. It is being held at Yahoo(Inner Ring Road Koramangala) Bangalore between 1000 to 1930 on 22.04.2006

I would be speaking on Mashups in the Enterprise and Sathish would be talking on a surprise topic. Will keep everybody posted on that. Till then.....
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cross-Pollination

I've always been wondering, how my German colleauges are so damn efficient.( By the way if I've not mentioned before I work for a spftware company, and I'm in the field of Forensic Accounting.)

One consistent reason I've seen is that they have a serious hobby, other than software writing. This OTHER is the most important term. Coding, software designing is fun, if you are in that field. Some of us, come back home and hack away at our own projects, that is good, however not tooo good either.

Having a hobby which is different, other than what you do at work really helps to cross-pollinate ideas.

So what is cross-pollinate ideas?

Most of us in India atleast stick to a single profession throughout our lives, you don't wake up one morning and decide that you have to buy a farm outside your city to grow vegetables to sell it off. Or learn/teach music. This kind of an alternate profession, would give insights and ideas, which could always be carried back to your first job, if you ever decide to get back, or the ideas from your earlier profession could be carried into your latest one.

Since not many of us do this, hobbies are the best ways to pollinate ideas from a different world. Pollination in the true sense is within a species of flowers only, however I'm saying think beyond. Learn something new, do something different, and carry that learning, that method, that lifestyle into your current job.

Some people do have hobbies, but never stick to it deep enough, that they can carry the ideas from there.

Trust me to survive in todays world, you have to constantly innovate. You can stay ahead in two ways, either be really fast, or change directions extremely fast. Now consider how many times can you be really fast(take Roger Bannister for eg.. once he broke the mile record, everybody started breaking it). Changing directions is far easier, to change directions, you have to have new ideas, and the best way to have new ideas is to learn from other professions,fields,hobbies ...

So hobby fsat, build models, get to being a photographer, run the marathon, cook something, learn tea/wine tasting( I mean seriously).....
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Ancient Roots of Today's Financial Tools : HBS Working Knowledge

From HBS Working Knowledge: The Ancient Roots of Today's Financial Tools: Take a bank check. Most people assume this financial convenience is fairly new, certainly not more than a century or two old.

But according to William Goetzmann, a visiting professor from Yale University who is fascinated by financial instruments as windows on technology and innovation, bankers' checks written in Greek on papyri appeared in ancient Egypt as far back as 250 B.C. Papyri preserved well in Egypt thanks to its arid climate, but Goetzmann thinks it's safe to say such checks changed hands throughout the Mediterranean world.

My Car Stereo was Stolen :-((

Early today morning, the car started to scream, since we live in a small locality, all the cars are parked on street sides.

The thief was extremely smart, he knew he could not force an entry into the car via the doors, as they are secured with the auto lock, he opened the gasket of the rear window and squeezed an entry into the car and ripped the cd player out.

Made a dash through the opened section and escaped.

Well am not too sad, it was an old player, which was virtually dead, was planning to change it anyway.

I wonder if there is any security system against opening the rear glass, if anybody does know, please do let me know about it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Abhyasa and Vairagya - Part II

I discussed in Part I about the method Patanjali describes to study/learn. However learning is just one wing of the bird, without two, there is no flight. The second wing is Vairagya(Renunciation). Vairagya, here is not about leaving worldly pleasures and going to become an ascetic(this is the extreme for of Vairagya). It is all about leaving, expectations, feelings and any emotions, attached to your work/learning.

A lot has been written by business gurus in the recent years about Emotions and Work. However nobody has dared to define the thin line between the two, Patanjali has explored that. One must be attached to the learning/work, in such a deep way, that Emotions, must not be dettered for a long period of time, when an emotionally disturbing situation occurs. Vairagya is that. It is all about leaving everything else, money,emotions, all worldly things, when one is involved in learning. One must forget everything else for that infinte moment of, What am I going to benefit? What is my salary? What is my next position? How can I make people feel good about me? All one has to do is to direct these questions, towards the learning, rather than expend energy on such .

This has to deepened for deeper learning, if somebody decides to spend their time in the software industry writing business applications, then so it must be, one has to have a deep desire to do only that and nothing else. If something else suits you, then catch hold onto that path, but STICK THERE. Jumping companies, jumping fields, can always give growth money in a short term, but when it comes to life itself, think about what are you going to answer to your kids, programmed in Java/C.... Or you are an expert in writing software for Heart monitors, in financial applications, in search engines..

to get to this stage, you need both the wings, Abhyasa and Vairagya, to reach perffect balance and harmony. It is extremely difficult to manage both of these units, as the vagaries of the human mind, always push you towards materialistic pleasures and the easy paths of life. If one can master this then by what Patanjali says, you are closer to God(ie... your learning/work which becomes Godly to you). I guess that is why he says God is omnipresent and is everywhere in everybody, however only the true souls can see it. Yes only the true souls can see it, the true souls who have learnt and learnt to renounce things in life for a higher meaning and living.

Think about what should be written in your obituary about what you worked in your life, Java/C.... or a creator of a new breed of applications for the human advancement.,,,,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

From Passionate User: Pushing your skillsets

Are you doing anything to keep up your skills? Some of you don't have a choice--especially if you're doing client work where each new job 'forces' you to learn something new. But for those of us who--like me--are mostly working on our own stuff, we can get... a little lazy. The techniques we've been using are like old friends. Doing it the way we've been doing it feels comfortable and less riskyLearning

Abhyasa and Vairaagya- Part I

Post my Bored blog, I noticed a few things in my daily reading which is a solution to some of the problems mentioned there. Oops I forgot to mention, I've been reading Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. A book written by BKS Iyengar, the famous Yoga exponent. Patanjali taks about 2 aspects of life, to achieve peace and satisfaction.

a) Abhyasa: Abhyasa, is nothing but repetive learning and practice. As to what Iyengar says, one must never stop learning and practising what one has learned. Learning is categorised into 5 states:
1. Learning by watching,reading,congnitively thinking and reasoning.
2. Learning due to misperception and misconception.
3. Learning during sleep(ie.. in dreams)
4. Learning from memory
5. Learning due to Experience.

All these 5 learnings are to be learnt and practiced in fields of one's own interest. As to Patanjali, he states that if you do not know what you are interested in and cannot learn and practice about that subject indepth, then living is a waste(woah this is scary).

Again he subcategorises Abhyasa into various levels

1. Mrudu(Soft): One is just experiencing the topic: It is just like a beginner from college who touches and feels his way into topics which he has just been reading
2. Madhyama(Intermediate): Here abhyasa becomes usable, that is you start using the skills in a limited manner. People who are in the industry for about 3-5 years fall under this category.
3. Kathina(Expert): When you are in a state of taking decesions on the topic with relative ease, then you are in this state. This is the most dangerous state of all, as one thinks, he/she knows everything. What we know is just 20% the rest 80% is the critical knowledge, which comes to use only in special cases.
4. Samadhi(Eternal): Here one becomes totally oblivious to how the topic is being dealt by him/her. i.e.. It becomes a subconcious reaction.

I can relate the above 4 states to a driving experience. When one learns to drive, they are aware of all senses, about pusing the clutch, when to change gears, the sweaty back et al.. Once you can drive, you are aware, but not to a large extent of identifying pushing gears etc.. You concentrate more on where you can take the car, is the gap between two other vehicles large enough for your car to go. You learn to parallel park and reverse, you are still aware in these cases but not in basic driving. You reach an expert stage when you can do a parallel park and drive with ease, but remember, you are still not aware of the pitfalls when driving at high speeds, on highways, high speed through narrow lanes, or for that matter of fact in a n emergency situation, like floods, say in bad terrains. Samadhi is reached when you can drive in any condition, sleeting rain, sand storms, ugly road(not just basd ones), impossible terrain, horrible traffic, and also do all this with ease and talk to the person casually without cursing any situation.

So all one has to do is take a topic of interest as Patanjali says and try to spend most of the time in Levels 1,2 and 4 and spend the least amount of time in Level 3. This ensures a continuous learning and expertise in a subject of your choice. With this one can reach true learning.


Long enough on this one, tommorow in Part II, I'll discuss Vairaagya(Renunciation).
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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bored!!

What do you do, when you are frustrated with life, when you are tired of doing the same old thing, when you are bored???

These feelings are surprisingly increasing in our Society(India) especially among the software professionals in the age group of 24-35. I've been noticing that people in this age group has a lesser attention span than most of the CEO's of large corporations.

When I mean attention span here, I mean to say the sticky rate to organizations. i.e.. to what extent are people sticking in organizations for a long time and for wht purposes. We see young people jumping from one company to another for various reasons, I could think of these
a) Monetary: This is the weakest reason of all to jump, especially with more business coming into our country, I see no reason why somebody jump companies for just money

b) Not getting to do what you want to do:Well this one is something one has to figure out on their own. Are they clear on what they want to do in the first place? I have a friend, who has jumped 4 companies in 5 years. Look at his record, He jumped his first company for monetary reasons, he jumped the second one, just because he felt the company does not have exciting projects(look at point 3 on how to handle this), he jumped the third one, because he did not work on VC++, he jumped the fourth one, because he was not promoted, and now he is in his fifth company. I guess he will soon run out of reasons, and will have to cycle through the old ones, whe he will start feeling the prick of doing the mistakes over again. Mind you all these companies are global ones, some of them are in Fortune 100 list too.

c) Not having a challenging job:Not every time would you get to do the best work. You cannot be in the limelight for long, remember "Today's Laurels are tommorows compost". So when one project leads to another, you will defnitely not have a challenging job everytime. And moreover, you cannot give your best every time, if every single moment is challenging. If you ever face a situation like this, do what Dave Pollard writes, makes a lot of sense.

d) Not being promoted:Dude come one, if somebody thought you are good, for the next level, you would be there by now. So what is the secret of promotions, though I've never been promoted, a wise man said, the day you make your boss redundant, you can take his/her place. What and absolute truth, however not many understand this.

I've seen a complete anti-thesis to this one too. I've met a few guys from really large corporation, who have spent being developers for 25-30 years(yes trust me on this). What motivates them to do this. It is only one thing, they are passionate at what they do. They JUST LOVE IT. Yes lots of them quit their jobs at some point of time, to pursue something else, I guess that is justified as they explored one area atleast completely. After talking to them I see they are wanting to enrich their lives with each experience of theirs. Many of them have varied hobbies, which keep them occupied. They look at life as a whole experience with family,friends,interests, and work. It is a more balanced approach.

Indians have always been known to work for extra hours, for weekends etc... We as people are not building a character. If I ask a question to many of my friends, "What did they do on their weekend?", the only answer I get is I watched a movie, went shopping, met friends, went bowling/karting, slept at home(as I was tired), watched a cricket match, read a book. etc...

Not many say, I went hiking/climbing. I'm building a model of a train/plane. I attend dance classes, I cooked something new. I mapped my locality(cartography). When we find people out of our country do all these things we think it is something great, well it is not.

So people put down your work, catch up on something you have missed in your life, don't just look at work,money,the next project, look beyond. Think what can you tell your grand kids other than than Java,C and that manager of yours asking you to stay back in the office. THINK.
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Guide to flirting

I know this seems like a hot plate topic, but defnitely a good read and some good pointers here for people who want to use this.
SIRC Guide to flirting: "Flirting is much more than just a bit of fun: it is a universal and essential aspect of human interaction. Anthropological research shows that flirting is to be found, in some form, in all cultures and societies around the world.

Flirting is a basic instinct, part of human nature. This is not surprising: if we did not initiate contact and express interest in members of the opposite sex, we would not progress to reproduction, and the human species would become extinct.

According to some evolutionary psychologists, flirting may even be the foundation of civilisation as we know it. They argue that the large human brain - our superior intelligence, complex language, everything that distinguishes us from animals - is the equivalent of the peacock's tail: a courtship device evolved to attract and retain sexual partners. Our achievements in everything from art to rocket science may be merely a side-effect of the essential ability to charm."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Summer Poerty

Back to writing poetry after a very long time. Was doing this in my 11th, but then somehow was lost.Anyway here is one for the Summer.

Summer Summer

O Summer, Summer, how you are here,
No respite for me far or near.

Early morn I wake,
in response to your harsh bake.

Through the day I'm drowned in sweat,
I feel you are the hottest this yeat, I BET.

Clothes shed from Jeans to shorts,
from sweats to sleeveless,
in the relentless heat of yours.

Yet you burn bright,
giving hope to me that it would be better in the night.

The hum and drone of the little guy,
makes me squeam and cry.

I run for the windows and spray,
only in vain and terrible dismay.

All night in bed I rock and roll,
with the mosquito playing on my never resting soul.

CALM DOWN, CALM DOWN, Summer, I pray,
for the heat of yours is yet to cross may.

O Summer, Summer how you are here,
No respite for me far or near.



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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pop Goes the Cell Phone

From WorldChanging: As TechOnline points out, 'In less than five minutes, trained workers at recycling centers can manually disassemble a computer and sort all of its plastics and its ferrous and nonferrous metals in preparation for recycling.' But five minutes costs money. Today most cell phones and other small electronics are shredded instead of taken apart for recycling, because the disassembly time is too expensive for the amount of material reclaimed.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What have you done for the environment?

What have you done for the environment today? Nothing since you are a Software Engg, well here is something to think of....
Via Creating Passionate Users: As many of you may know, New Zealand is facing a serious energy crises. In what could only be considered an extremely brave move, the Webstock conference site has been completely redone to save power. Recognizing the wasted power from downloading all that CSS, javascript, and graphics--they've gone back to 1997-style simple HTML with no pictures, scripting, or style sheets. Enivironment,Saving Energy,Web,html

Google Romancing.

Google is now romancing. Very soon, you might want to find your mate, by just hitting the "I'm feeling Lucky" button. Dating sites, get ready to be washed out. The search industry is hitting high, with Google getting into every concievable consumer vertical. Initially it was job sites, now it is dating. What next, recommending the best sperm banks to fit your profile?? hmmm nice venture I guess.

Well anyway it turned out to be an April Fools Joke from Google. It might as well be just real a few months down the line....,,

Topics Pending in Barcamp Chennai

There are still a lot of topics pending in BarCamp Chennai(Happening on 8 and 9th April 2006). If anybody is interested, please do have a look at BarCamp Chennai. Some interesting topics are being missed, make the best of it. barcamp,barcampchennai,chennai,Web 2.0

Saturday, April 01, 2006

QCodo, a php development framework

QCodo is the latest on the blocks, php development framework. I really like it more than Rails. Reason? Last year, a few of us including Sathish came up with this idea to generate code based on Database Designs for php, we are still working on it. I guess Mike Ho(Creator of QCodo) thought about this long ago(hence we could not take it further :-))

Anyway, now that this framework is out, it seems worlds apart, I'm no expert to make comparisons between Rails and QCodo, but one thing I do know is that both frameworks over a period of time would mature itself and deliver to the right section of users. A few years ago, the hype created that Java could do everything was there(and it did create), now ruby(Rails) has it. In the future who knows???? Probably languages might cease to exist and you might code by just talking to your computer. (Dreaming)...

QCodo, do check it out.
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1000!!!! Yipeeee

My blog has hit 1000, thanks to all whoo read my blogs. If you have and comments/suggestions for improvements, or you want me to discuss some topic, please do let me know. THANK YOU ALL

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